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tv   Book Discussion  CSPAN  September 28, 2014 3:38pm-4:01pm EDT

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will realize it can win this long war. we have the ability to ratchet up or ratchet back. unfortunately, we don't have that ability. we don't have the ability to so neatly determine the pace of the war, the pace of military operations, or determine the pace of how quickly the local population is seeing the south vietnamese government as a legion that sentiment -- a legitimate entity. it connects this theory of graduated pressure. as we talked about earlier, there is a difference between articulating strategy and implementing it. this is a clear case of that. thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] >> today at 4:00 p.m. eastern,
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we feature "the city," in 1939 documentary originally produced for the new york world's fair. the film argues that modern cities are on health in that plant communities -- and that planned communities with clean air are a better option. that is on this week's real america, the series highlighting archival films that help tell the story of the 20th century. >> monday night on "the communicators," federal trade commission or marino howson on net neutrality, this week, and data security. >> digg data is the tool. it can be used well or poorly. there are many benefits that can come from big data. are areas, some that top-of-the-line for me are in health care, and other kinds of research and reaching other kinds of populations.
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data?ere risks from big i think that is true. i think you can take pieces of ofviously, separate pieces information and assemble them into a profile that may give sensitive insights into a consumer, and the question is, you have these benefits and risks -- what do you do? >> monday night at 8:00 eastern on "the communicators" on c-span2. >> this year, c-span is touring cities across the country exploring american history. next, a look at our visit to st. paul, minnesota. you are watching american history tv, every weekend on c-span3. >> if you want to understand the modern world and where we are today, there is no better place to start than looking at f scott fitzgerald. he was so complex and doing with the complexity of american life, and that still resonates.
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>> st. paul had this huge impact on fitzgerald. fitzgerald had an impact on st. paul. st. paul was the most important town to f scott fitzgerald. he lived all over the world, but the vast majority of experiences that he used in his novels and cameng either directly from st. paul, was planned in st. paul, written in st. paul, rewritten in single. st. paul had this huge impact on his life up until he was probably about 40 and in his hollywood years. if you read fitzgerald's stories. they are awash in st. paul imagery. f scott fitzgerald was born in in 1896.tment it was considered a luxury apartment back then, befitting pf mcclellan who was one of the richest men in st. paul.
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unfortunately, he died pretty young. the family was living off the legacy money. still, the mcclellans were well respected around the town. first stepsook his here. were two sisters that died right before he was born. he suggested that is why he became a writer. he has another sister that was born when they were out in new york. he says he didn't know that anything else existed in the universe until his younger sister was born. he left at about the time he was two years old because his father went to get a job in new york. they came back to st. paul. we are standing in front of st. paul academy, the former st. paul academy. fitzgerald's parents have a lot of ambition for him, and that is why they named him francis scott key fitzgerald, after a distant
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relative. francis was also the middle name of philip francis mcclellan, his grandfather who had all the money. when the family moved back to st. paul, his father couldn't even keep the family together because of finances. thrust himwanted to into the st. paul society. you send him to the most prestigious school in st. paul. fitzgerald was rubbing shoulders of summit avenue, even though his folks weren't quite there. it is not that he was a poor boy. today, you would think of him as a millionaire amongst billionaires. you don't feel sorry for the millionaire. many of his stories are about .he influence of money
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i wouldn't say the worship of money but the fact that money was a big driver in the united states. just onback to st. paul the cusp of being a teenager. he was very handsome. he was very smart. he was a leader. he was a natural leader. sometimes he was probably a little overaggressive. said, willfriends somebody poisoned scotty to shut him up? apparently he talked a lot. sports, but heay wasn't very big. he was a little bit taller than i am. he weighs a lot less than i do. [laughter] he was like on the third string baseball team. how many students were here? probably not that many. he wasn't a great athlete.
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he realized he wasn't going to be the kind of hero athlete. tothought about other ways kind of gain notoriety. he founded through writing. he was writing detective stories. he liked to read them, so he would write them. he was writing westerns. he was writing mysteries. he was writing about the civil war because his father was alive during the civil war. relatives, he heard stories about his relatives in the civil war. he was doing a lot of different kinds of genres. he was writing plays. the plays were being deformed around the town. he was kind of gaining a little bit of notoriety. row of townhomes is really important to f scott gerald. -- f scott fitzgerald. his parents lived in a couple of different ones.
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they literally moved from town to townhome in the same row of townhomes. they are associated with the two great loves of his life, jeanette reckoning and zelda zehr. school when east to inevre camer a -- g to a party here. his parents were living at one of the townhomes here where he moped about genevre. he eventually joined the army and went south and met zelda. when she rejected him, he came back to this townhome. this is where magic struck. space, herd floor rewrote the book he had rewritten -- he had written while he was in the army. it was known as "the romantic
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egotist." subsequently published as "this side of paradise." he worked really hard to rewrite the book. supposedly, after he learned that the book was going to be published, he ran onto summit avenue and said, my book is going to be published! his parents were giving him a last chance. get your novel published, or go out and get a job. one of his friends got him a job on the railroad. he didn't last very long as a manual laborer. his book was published, and his world completely changed. he got the girl of his dreams. zelda agreed to marry him. his book was published. the 21st literally century self promoter.
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the difference between the victorian age and the jazz age, fitzgerald exemplified that kind of exuberance and self-promotion that you see continuing today. his peers would have done the kind of things he did, so they probably looked down on him a little bit, but he got a lot of publicity during his time. he wrote a pretty famous letter andt being half black irish half of his father from the old southern family. he said he would grovel in front of kitchen maids and insult the rich. whole lifehrough his he had a bit of an inferiority complex, especially when he went out east to school. he saw some people who made vast amounts of money. in tom buchanan in
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"the great gatsby." fitzgerald had an interesting relationship with people with money. they were his friends, but i don't think he worshiped money. he was too frivolous with it. in order to be frivolous with money, you had to have some. he made a lot of money during his lifetime. he did make some money off his books. he made money off motion pictures. he made money in hollywood. he made a hot load of money selling short stories. that hed a lot of worked really hard and made a lot of money, but he didn't worship it. i think he really felt the biblical con is the worship of money that is the root of all evil, not the money itself. ♪ ♪
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when i have the opportunity to come to the ballroom here, it is such a thrill for me. i know that this provided andiration for fitzgerald the kind of stories he was interested in to make money. evening ghost stories. this is the epitome of that huge volume of work that he produced that he felt a little bit ashamed of but are wonderful stories. positives as a real place for his career. there was one particular party at this house that actually didn't attend. it was a costume ball. louis hill liked to have costume balls. a young man apparently dressed
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up in a camel's outfit and went to the wrong house. who knows why? the next day, fitzgerald heard about the story, and he said he tried to find out more information. then he just sat down and wrote a short story called "the camel's back." fitzgerald said he didn't particularly like the story, but it won an old henry award. abouta pretty nice story a costume party that takes place here at the louis hillhouse. ohio, butin toledo, anybody who knows fitzgerald knows it was here. a lot of people think fitzgerald made his money off his writing early on, but actually, he was making it from movies. it was the movie money that in -- that encouraged zelda to marry him. became a movie
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that was called "conductor 1492." it has very little to do with the story, but it does have a dancing camel. .his is the scene at this point, when he's writing these short stories for "saturday evening post," he had sold "this side of paradise," but it took a while for the book to be published. the short stories he had already written, he was polishing and sending them off to publications. he was writing other stories and selling them to the publications. at this point, he is in his 20's. what is interesting is that when i was first doing research, i would ask that people were still alive who knew fitzgerald, and we always kind of heard about
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this outsider, insider thing. they denied it. they said he was a great friend. he was not an outsider. he was part of our group. where thatpuzzled me whole idea came from. if theirarted asking parents associated with his parents. no. his mother and father -- it kind of skipped a generation. his grandparents associated with the wealthy people of summit avenue and he did, but his parents didn't. there were reasons for that. as i said, his father had lost his job. he was unemployed. his mother was a little quirky. they didn't run around a lot with the parents of the children fitzgerald ran around with. feeling of got the
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being a bit of an outsider so he could objectively right about that period without fawning over it. as scott fitzgerald himself probably sat at this bar. ,e wrote almost everything down but he didn't say, i was at the basement bar. i'm sure he was. places a pretty special for fitzgerald scholars to see the actual places where he socialized, where he worked, that inspired him. this is one of the many places in st. paul that provided inspiration for fitzgerald. the university club was the center or one of the centers of social life in st. paul. it still is today. probably never a member, but he had a lot of friends who would have been.
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he would have had access to these rooms. here, several people including donald ogden stewart who he convinced to be a writer and then went on to win an academy award for "philadelphia story." he had a party for zelda when they were living on good rich. they called it the bad luck ball because it was on friday the 13th. to show you the extent that they would go to to entertain their guests, fitzgerald literally had a newspaper printed up, a full broadsheet newspaper printed off with stories about friends of his. you would not want to do with the drunken fitzgerald at a party. he got pretty obnoxious. i would say he was part of the obnoxious drunks. you might pick up some of the classes in this room and throw them -- the glasses in this room
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and throw them. he would tip over chairs. the zelda was kind of the same way. the two of them together, if they had been drinking heavily, it is probably -- it probably could've been pretty bad. if i would've been with fitzgerald, i would have preferred a semi-sober fitzgerald. probably one of the reasons why he was never a member, in theory, you had to be a graduate to be a member, and fitzgerald had dropped out of princeton, he said, for medical reasons. his grades weren't very good. he loved princeton. in fact, he was reading "the princeton alumni weekly" he passed away supposedly. he wrote the plays for the triangle club when he was a member. they were the group that toured the united states doing these performances.
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he actually came back to the twin cities to do a performance as a member of the triangle club . princeton was a symbol to him, and it wasn't written to him that he went there. his whole life, despite the fact he never graduated, princeton held a place in his heart. a very important spot for him. after he had won zelda, they were married in new york city. neither her parents nor his parents came to the wedding. they did a european tour. then zelda discovered she was pregnant. they moved back to montgomery to be close to her parents. it didn't work out. -- fitzgerald had been moved back to st. paul. they lived out on white bear lake, but it was kind of a summer resort. they lived in a hotel. of course, they were going to have a family. herof their good friends,
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grandparents lived in this .ouse, and she got it for him it was a pretty brutal winter. fitzgerald had an office downtown. he was working very hard. he was working on the proof pages of "the beautiful and the damned." i think part of the set he took from this house. zelda was pretty bored. he tried to have parties for her at the university club. she didn't have a lot of friends. ivest of his friends' w didn't like her probably because she was a bit of a flirtatious southern bell, and all of their husbands like her. it just really wasn't going very well in st. paul. they made it through the winter. they tried to go back to white bear lake again. it was pretty much decided by both of them that st. paul was not going to be the place where
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they were going to make their home. it had a lot to do with the winters here. they moved back to new york, and then of course, as we know, he lived in europe. he lived out in hollywood. this was kind of the beginning of the end for him. they left st. paul in 1922. despite the fact that he said he was going to bring scotty back, their daughter who was born, he never made it back to st. paul. i think there were several influences st. paul had on him. one was the catholicism, that st. paul was and still is a very roman catholic town. with goodg is filled and bad, and a lot of people have written about that influence of religion on f scott fitzgerald. he got that from st. paul. i also think his writing about the wealthy also came from st.
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paul. himpaul had this hold on for most of his life. when he needed money, he would write short stories about st. paul i guess this is a story about the midwest, after all. this was the midwest he was venturing in "the great gatsby -- mentioning in "the great gatsby." you are watching american everyy tv, all weekend, weekend on c-span 3. tonight, a conversation about the book the classical liberal constitution.


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